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Know Your Risk: Ticks and the Diseases They Carry

The weather is getting warmer. You will want to spend more time outside, so will your pets. But out side, there are are also dangers that can latch onto your skin and make you gravely ill.

We are very much aware that ticks can carry Lyme disease. But, there are other diseases carried by four types of ticks you may not be aware of. We have a list of a few ticks you should know about and the diseases associated with them.

1. Lone Star Ticks

Image: Centers for Disease Control

These ticks can be found as far south as Texas (obviously) and as far north as Maine. Some of the illnesses caused by these ticks include: Bourbon virus, Heartland virus, and pathogens that cause ehrlichiosis and tularemia.

2. Eastern Black-Legged Ticks

Image: Tick Check

Commonly called “deer ticks” that bring forth Lyme disease, they also carry babesiosis, Powassan virus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

3. Gulf Coast Ticks

Image: National Environment Health Association

Carry a milder virus than the aforementioned ones. This virus they’re known for is Rickettsia parkeri.

4. Asian Longhorned Tick (in U.S.)

Image: Japan Times

Found in New Jersey sheep in 2017, they are asexual and can clone themselves. They have now been found in nine states, including New York. There’s no evidence they have spread disease in the U.S., but in Asia, these ticks have caused hemorrhagic fever.

Tick bites are also prone to causing some allergies, including one to red meat. See your doctor immediately if you feel you may have been exposed to or bitten by a tick.

Have you had an experience with tick bites? Tell us your story or contact us for more information! Feel free to shoot us an email to on Twitter, FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, or even connect with us directly on our website!

About the Author: Aisha K. Staggers is a writer, lecturer, political analyst and literary agent. She appears weekly for “Staggers State of Things” on the Dr. Vibe Show. Her work has been published by Paper Magazine, AfroPunk, The Spool, GREY Journal, MTV News, HuffPost, Blavity, Atlanta Blackstar, For Harriet, New York Review of Books and a host of other first-run publications and syndicated outlets. Find her on Twitter @AishaStaggers. For more of her work, check out her page here!

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